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Participation in Heterogeneous Communities

  • La Ferrara, Eliana
  • Alesina, Alberto
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    This paper studies what determines group formation and the degree of participation when the population is heterogeneous, both in terms of income and race or ethnicity. We are especially interested in whether and how much the degree of heterogeneity in communities influences the amount of participation in different types of groups. Using survey data on group membership and data on U. S. localities, we find that, after controlling for many individual characteristics, participation in social activities is significantly lower in more unequal and in more racially or ethnically fragmented localities. We also find that those individuals who express views against racial mixing are less prone to participate in groups the more racially heterogeneous their community is. These results are consistent with our model of group formation.

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4551796/alesina_participation.pdf
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    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4551796.

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    Date of creation: 2000
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4551796
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    Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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    1. Glaeser, E.L. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1993. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1645, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    6. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
    7. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 93-125, February.
    8. Denice DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1815, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Conley, John P. & Wooders, Myrna, 1996. "Taste-homogeneity of optimal jurisdictions in a Tiebout economy with crowding types and endogenous educational investment choices," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 367-387, December.
    11. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
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